As remote work in many industries becomes more feasible, practical, and accessible, employers worldwide are expanding their workforce in new and exciting ways. For many companies, this means widening the scope of their search for talent to include qualified international candidates, regardless of their physical location. Even if a business operates locally or nationally, drawing from the international talent pool can help an organization stay competitive, innovative, and fresh.
One factor keeping more businesses from taking advantage of an international workforce is the perceived complexity of hiring employees who live abroad. However, with the help of a global employer service, the international hiring process can be drastically streamlined and simplified. The right global employment service can save you time, money, and effort while enabling you to build the best possible team for the job.
Understanding the need for global employment services
Hiring international employees can be complicated, no matter how it’s done. But having a strong international team can be beneficial. In fact, limiting your business to only local candidates may be hampering your long-term success.
Employees in different countries offer fresh, unique perspectives, and their take on your operations can help revolutionize the way you work and operate. Having team members from different linguistic backgrounds spread across the globe also encourages organizations to develop and stick to a formal culture of communication.
Communication has always been key to a successful business, but many companies take it for granted or assume that tacit guidelines are enough. When a team expands across time zones, cultures, and languages, it quickly becomes clear that formalizing communications standards is not just beneficial but also necessary.
This means setting clear goals for the work you’re doing, building trust from multiple angles, and defining the work culture that suits your mission the best. In the process of hiring international employees or contractors, a business is forced to become better at what it does.
Using a global employer service streamlines the international hiring process and makes it a more accessible endeavor on several fronts. To hire international talent without using such a service, an organization needs to become locally incorporated in the employee’s region, set up local payroll services, and hire a legal team to navigate and ensure continued compliance with local labor laws that may be distinct from national and regional laws.
If an organization wants to hire an employee in a region where they’re not already incorporated, they could encounter lead times of several weeks to months. These extended periods can lead a potential employee to seek work elsewhere rather than wait.
An effective and experienced global employment service will help businesses navigate this new territory, shaving weeks off the wait time between choosing a candidate and legally adding them to the team. Generally, the fees to use these services will be far less expensive than the fees associated with hiring a legal team and setting up a new entity in every country one wishes to hire employees from.
Since a good global employer service will also have a team dedicated to payroll, benefits, and other human resources tasks, a business that adds employees abroad won’t have to worry about overburdening their main HR team. Instead, the company’s dedicated HR team can focus only on serving employees in-country, where they should already be familiar with the laws and regulations.
The convenience, consistency, and speed that a global employer service offers to a growing business can also help them break into emerging markets faster and more effectively. When your company is hoping to catch an early wave in a new market or in a new place, they don’t have time to wait for the cumbersome process of legal incorporation. Global people services can get the job done faster and with less sustained effort.
Key considerations when evaluating global employment services
- Compliance and legal expertise
International employment regulations are complex, and it’s not feasible or even possible for a single team to have the expertise needed to oversee hiring in every country. Ensuring compliance with local labor laws and regulations is paramount to your business’s success, and you need to feel confident that a global employer service has a team with the expertise you need. Always verify that they have experience hiring, offering benefits, and managing payroll in the country you want to hire from.
- Country coverage and local expertise
Not every global employer service will have experience in every country. However, it’s important to find a service that can demonstrate its expertise in each of the countries you want to do business in. Your contract with a global employment service should include access to experts who understand the necessary employment processes as well as those with hands-on cultural experience who can explain the nuances of the markets you’re hiring in. This allows you access to a broader network to use to your advantage.
- Admin and global payroll management
The less time your HR team has to spend dealing with international onboarding, payroll, and benefits administration, the more time they have to attend to your local employees and the more money your business saves. You want to find a global employer service that will be able to handle onboarding, payroll, tax, benefits, and social security obligations across several different jurisdictions.
- Risk management and compliance
While ultimately beneficial, hiring internationally isn’t without its risks. A good global employer service will help mitigate these risks and ensure confidentiality and data security in every jurisdiction. If you’re not confident that your service can do this, then you’re putting your business in jeopardy.
- Scalability and flexibility
Not every business’s needs are the same, and expectations and goals for growth vary by mission, industry, and individual. Ensure that the service you choose can handle scaling your global expansion efforts as quickly and effectively as you need. Look for a service that can support temporary or project-based employment needs and be flexible enough to adapt to changing business requirements and workforce demands.
Questions to ask potential global employment service providers
Now that you understand the importance and value of working with a global employment service provider, here’s a handy list of questions you can refer to when evaluating potential partnerships. These questions will help you evaluate the global employer service’s experience, expertise, and safety:
- How do you ensure compliance with local labor laws in different countries?
- Can you provide examples of successful international placements you've made?
- How do you handle payroll management and benefits administration across borders?
- What measures do you have in place to mitigate risks and ensure data security?
- How do you adapt to changing employment needs and diverse talent requirements?
Choosing the right global employer service
No matter what decision you make regarding your company’s future as an international employer, it’s crucial to do so with all the relevant information at your disposal. First, consider your business’s goals and the scale you want to operate at.
Choosing the right global employment service provider will ensure that your international employees are properly protected from the start. You’ll also want to define what corners of the world you want to operate in and ensure that your chosen service has demonstrated expertise working within the relevant labor laws.
Then consider what factors are currently unknown. Will your global employer service be capable of handling faster or larger growth than your goals or expectations? Can they work in countries that you might want to expand into five, 10, or 15 years down the line? Before settling on a service, you need to feel confident that it can meet your current and future needs.
Find out how Oyster’s global employment platform can help you get it all done.
Oyster is a global employment platform designed to enable visionary HR leaders to find, engage, pay, manage, develop, and take care of a thriving distributed workforce. Oyster lets growing companies give valued international team members the experience they deserve, without the usual headaches and expense.
Oyster enables hiring anywhere in the world—with reliable, compliant payroll, and great local benefits and perks.